It has been seven months since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in this county, and it could be at least five more months before a safe and effective vaccine is available, according to Robert Wittmann, Moore County Health Director, as he gave his remarks to the County Commissioners at a regular meeting held at the Historic County Courthouse Tuesday morning.
In what recently has been a regular presentation to commissioners, Wittmann urged all residents to follow the 3 Ws: Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth, Wait 6-feet apart and Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
“The community will need to hear and see support for these protective measures from all elected and appointed officials, the media, both print and electronic, as well as prominent citizens,” Wittmann said. “Therefore, the Health Department is requesting that everyone use their voice and talents to promote the 3 Ws.”
Free Community Mobile Testing
Also during the meeting, Matt Garner, Moore County Public Information Officer, provided an update on the free community mobile testing program.
Robert Wittmann, Moore County Health Director (L) and Matt Garner, Moore County Health Public Information Officer (R) seen outside the Historic Courthouse after making a presentation to the Moore County Board of Commissioners. “The Health Department is requesting that everyone use their voice and talents to promote the wearing of masks, waiting at least 6-feet apart and washing hands frequently,” said Mr. Wittmann.
“I’m happy to report that we were able to offer five testing events for COVID-19 in the community. We’ve tested 242 individuals,” said Garner. “No out-of-pocket cost is required. No doctor’s referral as with all of our testing events and also no insurance is required for that event.
The next community mobile testing event will be Thursday, September 3 at the New Home Baptist Church on Lobelia Road in Vass. It is free to the public. Anyone interested in getting tested is asked to call 910-267-2044 to preregister.
Another free mobile testing event will be held on September 11 between 9 a.m and 1 p.m at the Health Department, 705 Pinehurst Avenue in Carthage.
Eight Robbins Elementary Staff Test Positive
In a news release last week, the Health Department announced that six staff members at Robbins Elementary tested positive for COVID-19 and have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. According to information on the Moore County Schools website, that number has recently risen to eight. Additionally, 12 students at seven schools have tested positive.
County Commissioners expressed their intention to invite Wittmann to future public meetings to provide updates and answer questions. The next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, September 15. Meetings are open to the public and are streamed live online They are also recorded for later viewing. In accordance to safety practices, everyone entering the building has their temperature checked, required to wear a mask and asked to stay a safe distance apart.
In a decision that commissioners looked favorably on, the Board of Health will hold monthly meetings beginning Monday, September 14. The meeting will be held at the Agricultural Center, 707 Pinehurst Ave, in Carthage. The public is invited to attend. The 11-member Board of Health had been meeting quarterly.
During the customary public comment period at the start of the County Commissioners meeting, Kevin Lewis of Carthage rose to express his confidence and support for Health Director Wittmann. According to Lewis, the Health Department acted swiftly after learning that he came into contact with a person that could have been exposed to COVID-19. Lewis said that he has since tested negative.
East Moore Water District
In other business, Public Works Director Randy Gould recommended the low bid to extend drinking water lines along Murdocksville Rd, south of Highway 73. County Commissioners, who also serve as East Moore Water District Board of Directors, approved the motion. Awarding the contract to Metcom, Inc of Raleigh for $1.2 million will be contingent on funding by the United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development program.
Resolution Honoring 110-Year-Old Lorene Allen
At Tuesdays’ meeting, commissioners adopted a resolution honoring Lorena Allen for recently celebrating her 110th birthday. In reading the recognition, Chairman Frank Quis said “Lorena is a ray of sunshine, always putting a smile on your face.” Allen lives at Tara Plantation, an assisted living facility in Carthage.
Feature photo: Robert Wittmann, Moore County Health Director, makes a presentation at the Moore County Board of Commissioners. In what recently has been a regular presentation to commissioners, Mr. Whittmann urged all residents to follow the 3Ws: Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth, Wait 6-feet apart and Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.